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membership reward points as possible. and use those points to reward our employees. they get a trip with their family, and some wonderful memories. the average employee is with me over 20 years. i have busboys that are with me 30 years. when i tell them that i'm giving them a trip they just can't believe it. giving back to my employees makes me feel great. and when my employees are happy, my customers are happy. how can the gold card help serve your business? booming is taking care of your business by taking care of your employees. the uprising in libya. rebels move to create a new government in that country while the white house takes a strong line. moammar gadhafi must go. the latest in live reports. sweeping drug busts in the sunshine state. why the sudden crackdown on medications given to you by doctors is happening. a stroke of luck or just a
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miracle? that's what a couple is calling their survival story after being stuck in a snow bank for five days. hear their amazing story of how they got rescued. going for the gold. that's right. a preview of what you can expect at tonight's oscars. predictions on the big winners. star-studded night for you coming up. hi, everybody. great to have you with me. i'm thomas roberts. alex witt has the morning off. welcome to "msnbc sunday." in libya this morning, the international community taking new steps in response to the deadly crackdown on antigovernment protesters. the u.n. security council has unanimously voted to impose sanctions on moammar gadhafi, his four sons and one daughter. the council also backed a travel ban on the gadhafi family and ten close associates. >> this is a clear warning to the libyan government that it must stop the killing. those who slaughter civilians will be held personally accountable.
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the international community will not tolerate violence of any sort against the libyan people by their government or security forces. >> president obama is also ratcheting up the pressure on gadhafi for the first time. he's urging the libyan leader to leave power immediately. more from the white house in just a moment. also, a critical move by antigovernment protesters trying to establish an alternative government. a member of the city council in benghazi says the libyan cities under rebel control have now appointed the ex-justice minister to leave a provisional government. meanwhile, twoferies holding nearly 500 foreigners in libya are stuck in tripoli because of rough seas, this as uk and u.s. officials are evacuating citizens of libya by air. nbc's martin fletcher is live in malta. martin, explain, how many more americans are waiting to get out? >> reporter: not many, thomas. there's a petroleum charter plane that went in yesterday to tripoli to bring out evacuees
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from libya, and i'm told there's only one american on board. the number 90 has been used in the last couple days, 90 americans in libya who still want to go out. there are about 3,000 other libyan americans who have asked to be evacuated, but there appears on to be just a few left. the british said they would help evacuate americans still left there. behind me, of course, there's tens of thousands of other people trying to get out of libya, too. this boat behind me, for instance, this is an italian cruise ship that arrived here in the dock in malta about three hours ago. on board, there's 2,000 evacuees, people picked up from libya escaping the violence, five nationalities on board. i was told south koreans, brazilians, portuguese, and then the chap i was talking to didn't know the other nationalities, but 2,000 people. they'll be taken off the cruise liner and put on buses and taken to the airport. just further down the port, there's nod cruise liner that brought in 2,000 chinese from libya.
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so, there's a massive evacuation, an exodus of foreign workers from libya, many of them coming here to malta and then from here on their way home, thomas. >> and martin, when we talk about the situation for a lot of these people leaving, i know since last week, there were certain ferries stranded by rough seas and rough weather. what's the weather condition now for those people that are trying to leave, because i understand that the british military also aided in a pretty daring rescue last night? >> reporter: well, that's right. first of all, in terms of the weather conditions, it's pretty bad. there are two ferries stuck in tripoli, because they're massive. a cruiseship like this could make the journey. as for the british rescue last night, that was a major change in upping the ante, if you like, of the first military operation, the british sent hercules transport planes into southern libya, various locations, picked up british citizens and citizens of other countries and ferried them out. now that was quite a risky operation, to send two transport planes, the hercules, the
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lumbering, slow planes. they must have been accompanied by fighter jets, because they were making their way through libyan air space -- that's enemy air space at the moment, of course. there were apparently special forces soldiers on the planes, too to secure the area to keep it safe while the evacuees went across the airport, got on the planes, and then everybody got on the planes and flew away. so, that was the first military operation by the british government to rescue its citizens in libya. and of course, it raises the stakes in a sense. a military operation, and we'll see what other kinds of operations are still needed to get the rest of the people out of libya who want to leave, thomas. >> martin, how is malta handling this influx of evacuees? who's on hand to help all these people who are fleeing libya, helping them get where they need to go, where their homes are? >> reporter: when the americans came on the ferry a couple days ago, now the american embassy was here, the red cross was here to help people who needed medical treatment, get snacks to the evacuees, but once the people arrive here, the american
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evacuees were then on their own. they had to pay for their own hotels, make their own bookings on planes and make their own way home. so, that's how they've been treated. these people here, for instance, 2,000 nationals and 2,000 chinese down the road a bit, they will be taken by bus to the airport and then flown home. but in terms of the maltese, they're delighted by all this. this is the offseason here. the taxi drivers are happy, restaurants are open. the restaurants are open, by the way, especially in order to take care of these people. so it's a financial bonanza for malta, but they've been handling it well indeed, giving people full cooperation. all the diplomats are saying that. >> martin fletcher in malta for us, thank you. as we mentioned, we have now heard the strongest statements so far from the president when it comes to libya's leader. let's bring in nbc news white house correspondent mike viqueira. mike, explain the words we're hearing from the president. >> reporter: thomas, good morning. there's been a lot of action here at the white house coming from the u.s. administration from friday night into yesterday and into last evening at the
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united nations in new york. it began friday night, when just minutes after that plane had taken off from tripoli with the last, or what we thought were the last of the u.s. citizens, the u.s. started to announce its sanctions regime. that includes first and foremost freezing the assets of the gadhafi family. and then yesterday, the president continuing a series of staff meetings and consultations with heads of state, one of which was angela merkel, the chancellor of germany. and they put out a statement, did the white house, describing what the president said to merkel during that call. very interesting, thomas. they quote the president saying, "the president stated that when a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now." and then, literally minutes after that, the secretary of state, hillary clinton, had virtually identical language in a statement, saying we need to avoid further bloodshed and violence, gadhafi needs to go now. that was followed last night by that vote in the security
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council. obviously, they're freezing assets, as well, a travel ban instituted, visas revoked, and a reference to the international criminal court for crimes against humanity by gadhafi and top officials there. afterwards, susan rice, the united states ambassador to the u.n., was asked what good are all these sanctions going to do when a man like gadhafi said he's going to fight until the last drop of blood? here's rice's answer. >> the resolution puts in place some concrete enforcement mechanisms, the sanctions committee, panels to enforce and review these measures, which we have learned are effective in helping the security council ensure the effective implementation of its resolutions. >> reporter: now, tomorrow, the secretary of state, hillary clinton, will be going to europe for more top-level consultations, and the secretary-general of the united nations, ban ki-moon, will be here at the white house for a meeting with president obama. thomas? >> mike viqueira at the white house for us. mike, thanks so much. protesters in wisconsin are
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facing a deadline today. capitol police say that they have to be cleared out by the statehouse by 4:00 p.m. they've been camped out there in protest of the governor's plans to cut the benefits and bargaining power of public unions in the state. nbc's mike taibbi is in madison with more. >> reporter: the crowds in madison got bigger by the hour. many protesters leaving the interior of the state house where they've been living for more than a week. the focus of the crowds here was the governor himself. walker hasn't varied once from his insistence that rolling back public union benefits and collective bargaining rights is the only way to control government spending at the state and local level now and in the future. walker ally senator al gropeman on msnbc. >> federal officials have no collective bargaining and already about half of the state employees are non-union. >> reporter: rallies in many other states in support of the union protesters in wisconsin, but the drum beat was loudest in madison.
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here, it's only the deliberate absence of the 14 senate democrats that's delaying the inevitable vote to turn the governor's bill into law. these evident passions and huge numbers of protesters seen by democratic assemblywoman tamara grigsby as important factors for the future. >> if you never voted before, i bet you will now. >> thanks to mike taibbi for that report. a measles warning this morning for travelers and workers at four u.s. airports. public health officials say a new mexico woman later confirmed to have the disease arrived at washington dulles international airport from london last sunday. now, two days later, she left from bwi thurgood marshall airport near baltimore and flew on to denver and then on to albuquerque. authorities are trying to notify passengers who sat close to her on those flights. the 27-year-old woman had not been immunized against measles. actor charlie sheen says he's clean and he's taking a drug test to prove it.
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raideronline says a urine test he took this weekend in l.a. turned up negative for drugs. the site also says he submitted to a blood test, but results aren't expected until tomorrow. production on sheen's hit sitcom "two and a half men" was halted last week after he went on a rant against the executive producer on a radio show. the wicked weather continues and it continues out west. mother nature has been lobbing everything but the kitchen sink at the west coast. wlange hit with hail as well. in san diego, like san francisco, saw some snow. so much for an early spring, right? the weather channel's alex wallace joins me now live with more on the cold snap that's taking place out west. alex, so, when are things going to warm up for those guys, especially when we've got to see everybody on the red carpet tonight? >> yeah, and you know, it's going to be a cool one for the folks on the red carpet, but dry, so that is good news. we can owe it to this storm system now that's moving its way through the four corners, dumping little bit of snow in parts of arizona. you also have snow with one system moving through the northeast. that's impacting us here right around boston but quickly seeing
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that coming to an end. we'll be looking drier by the afternoon. but let's head back to the west with our system here. still bringing us some snow showers just north of the phoenix area, down towards tucson as well. l.a., you're drying out. should be a nice afternoon with some sunshine, but again, pretty cool. now, that same system in the southwest begins to work its way east, and this is going to be trouble here for us through parts of the central plains and the midwest, spawning this storm system now. we're going to be watching for the risk for strong to severe storms to develop. a good chunk of missouri and eventually we're going to be seeing this slide its way east for monday. working up through the ohio river valley and into the southeast here for us. some of the main threats we'll be dealing with -- damaging winds, hail a threat, even tornadoes, and of course, also that threat for some heavy rain. so, thomas, an active pattern here for us as we end the weekend and head into next week. >> thanks, alex. talk again soon. what to expect next as the international response to the violence in libya is stepping up? also, what's behind the timing of the president's call for gadhafi to step down?
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also, you'll hear from a couple found safe and sound after being stranded for five days snowbound in a car. plus, as we mentioned, hollywood's big night. why some are saying the winners aren't a done deal just yet. stay with me. this is "msnbc sunday." ♪ [ folk pop ] [ man ] ♪ if you got worries then you're like me ♪ ♪ don't worry now i won't hurt you ♪ ♪ and if you got worries then you're like me ♪ ♪ don't worry now i won't desert you ♪ ♪ [ continues ] [ announcer ] when it comes to the things you care about, leave nothing to chance. travelers. insurance for auto and home. call or click now for an agent or quote. but you can still refinance to a fixed rate as low as 4.5% at, where customers save an average of $293 a month. call lendingtree today.
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welcome back, everybody. msnbc is the place for politics, and it's a busy day at the white house coming tomorrow. president obama will meet with a bipartisan group of governors before turning his attention to the u.n. and the international response to the violence in libya. karen finney is an msnbc political analyst and former communications director for the dnc. karen, great to see you this morning. thanks for joining me. >> good morning. >> president obama called on libya's dictator, as we know
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now, to step down. he made these remarks yesterday, less than 24 hours after the white house kind of side-stepped this topic. so, what do you make of the turn-around on this, and the hard turn-around on this, especially timingwise? >> sure. well, you know, the white house has said their greatest concern really was getting those americans that were in libya safely out of the country, and i think the majority of americans that have been accounted for certainly have been. they did not want to get us into a hostage situation, which you know, sitting on the other side of that now, i think that was the right decision. now that those americans are safe -- and also, let's note that now that he knows, the president knows he's got support from other leaders -- i mean, the united states can't just go in and handle this alone. now we've got the united nations on board, now we've got some of our other nato allies on board, so they can take a look at much more strident actions. >> the president is meeting with the u.n. secretary-general tomorrow. so far, the u.s. has frozen all libyan assets, and the u.n. did go ahead and vote for these sanctions. so, what could be next from the international community trying to come down hard on libya?
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>> well, a no-fly zone could be imposed. apparently that was one step they did not go to. they're also looking at things like referring some of these actions to war crimes, which they're hoping by doing that, that that will kind of fracture some of those generals that are still holding on with gadhafi. and you know, ultimately, there is -- i think it's still on the table -- military action. but again, that would require both u.n. action and nato action. that's not something we could do on our own. >> let's come back to this country and i want your take on what's taking place in wisconsin. president obama has expressed support for the unions, saying that he would even walk barefoot in these lines with them. it's really interesting, because the protesting governor here, scott walker, protesting the budget plan, so to speak. governors all over the country, though, are facing all of these economic challenges, you know. wisconsin not in the boat alone. they're meeting with the
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president this weekend. is the white house's chances of trying to head off similar problems in other states really going to take effect coming out of what we see this weekend, going into tomorrow, talking with these governors? >> well, potentially. i hope part of what happens over the course of the meetings of the national governors association, which as you know, is republicans and democrats, is an opportunity to share ideas and thoughts about other ways to deal with these budget crises other than union-busting. you know, with regard to wisconsin, the issue is, as you just reported, thomas, comes down to the governor wants to take away collective bargaining rights, and the unions have said, they understand they have to share the pain, and they've already made concessions. again, it's this idea -- i think there's a fundamental idea of fairness here, where people just say, look, you can't just bully people and take away their rights, and i think that's why people are standing so firm in wisconsin. i think that will also be part of the message, certainly to share with governors. that look, there are other ways to deal with your budget crises than saying we're going to take away rights from individuals.
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>> well, it's such a fabric of the american tapestry, if you think about it. union-busting is kind of out there. >> yeah. >> let's get to the federal government, though, and talk about the issues of the budget crisis that republicans have proposed. >> everyone's got a budget problem! >> everybody. i've got no money in my wallet today, karen. what's going on? they've proposed $40 billion in spending cuts, the democrats might agree to. but still, it's a temporary solution. do you think the parties are going to move toward a compromise? >> it looks as though we are heading that way. and i'll tell you, thomas, one of the things that was very interesting in the dynamic here last week is i think both sides started to recognize that the possibility of a shutdown isn't necessarily a good thing for either side, and there's no guarantee that it would have, you know kmrks out the same way it did in '95. i was in the clinton administration when that happened. the dynamics are very different. and the idea of a shutdown, i think both sides recognize, most americans would see that as just more evidence that washington is broken.
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so, this compromise seems to be on the right track. as you say, though, it's only temporary. so, the question becomes do we get into a situation where we continue to have just a series of temporary solutions, or are we able to get past this initial temporary solution and then find something that's a little bit more long-term? >> all right. karen finney, always great to have you on. thanks, karen. >> thanks, thomas. a pill mill crackdown to tell you about. hear how doctors are selling prescription drugs illegally. and up next, who is going to be bringing home an oscar to sleep with tonight? a look at some predictions. this is "msnbc sunday." stay with me.
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welcome back, everybody. looking ahead to the week on wall street, big news is expected on the jobs front on friday. we'll get the february jobs report from the labor department. now, some economists think that we'll see five times as many new
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hires than we saw in january. before that, we're going to find out how many cars all the automakers sold in february. detroit's big three had racked up huge gains in the past year. and will they strike or won't they? the national football league's contract with its players union expires thursday night. the nfl and the union are expected to return to washington for another day of federal mediation on tuesday. so, on a lighter note, hollywood's hottest celebrities better prepare for a cold reception at the oscars tonight. forecasters say that an arctic blast will be crashing the academy awards ceremony, making the red carpet walk a pretty chilly affair with temps possibly in the 40s. let's get all your oscar predictions now from dawn yanek, editor at large for "life & style weekly." dawn, great to have you here. >> thanks for having me. >> can you imagine, little chill on the red carpet. >> yes. >> maybe they'll have to erect the tent at the last second at the kodak theatre to keep them warm, but at least it won't be raining. >> exactly. we don't want all their hair to
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get frizzy. >> we'll look for the bright spots there. let's go through the big ones, starting with best actress. nominees here for the category, annette bening for "the kids are all right," nicole kidman in" rabbit hole," jennifer lawrence for "winter's bone," natalie portman in "black swan" and michelle williams for "blue valentine." >> yes. >> all fantastic ladies. >> it's a tough category this year. however, natalie portman has really been dominating this category this awards season. yesterday at the independent spirit awards was no different. she won for best actress. and "black swan" actually did very, very well yesterday as well. for tonight's show, i really do think that natalie portman will be taking the award home. there's been some talk that annette bening may sneak in and nab that award, because of course, the academy loves her, and this is her fourth nomination, but i really think this is natalie's year. she's got a fiance, a baby on the way, and i think tonight an oscar. >> doesn't the academy also like transformations of actors when they go through physical transformations? >> yes. >> i mean, losing all the weight and also playing -- i don't know if it's accurate -- i saw the
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movie, but a bipolar-type character. >> she was kind of an unhinged ballerina and she threw herself into this role and transformed her body, kind of similar to christian bale in "the fighter." and of course, i think he's a lock for that category as well. >> actor in a leading role -- nominees are javier bardem in "beautiful," jeff bridges in "true grit," jesse eisenberg for "the social network," colin firth, "the king's speech" and james franco "127 hours," also co-hosting the oscars with anne hathaway. i'll get to that with you. but these are compelling actors. >> but it's going to be colin firth all the way. >> uh huh? >> he has been the man this entire awards show season and he really made "the king's speech" what it is. >> it is a fantastic movie. >> fantastic. almost flawless. >> and it's focused on basically those three main characters that drive the film throughout. and here we are, again, seeing the transformation of a character, kind of getting introduced to colin firth's
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character in the beginning of the movie, and then you see the transformation of that character to the end. so, is this another example, though? because this is acting with a speech impediment. the academy also likes that. >> yeah, absolutely. the academy likes these characters where actors can challenge themselves in these interesting ways, whether it's through a physical transformation or through something that's really difficult to pull off, like stuttering. i mean, that is incredibly hard, and really, colin firth pulled it off with a plum. >> i feel really good about this because i've seen a lot of these movies so i can have this intelligent conversation with you. moving to best supporting actress there. was controversy about this category this year? why? >> a lot of people say melissa leo hurt her chances for best supporting actor oscar because she posed for this campaign where she was dressed in jewels and furs and it said "consider." she was basically campaigning for herself to win an academy award and a lot of people didn't look at that well. but i think the real problem is that she and amy adams are both nominated for the same movie in this category, which i think
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leaves room for haley steinfeld from "true grit" to come in and nab that. >> so you say the two of them will pull it apart and she will shoot through the center. >> absolutely, and i think the academy will want to award "true grit," which was snubbed at the golden globes and i don't think it will take any major awards. so this is the place where i think they'll award that movie. >> how old is she? >> 14 and she's amazing in that movie. >> so, the hosts, james franco and anne hathaway, i think that's a stellar choice. they're fine, they're young, new energy. >> they're definitely trying to get the younger demographic and lots more viewers this year. and of course, we'll be seeing a bit of a kinder, gentler awards show. certainly very different than what we saw with ricky gervais at the golden globes. >> any surprises? >> well, it's interesting, a few spoilers have been leaked online. it looks like we're going to be seeing alec baldwin in one of the opening montages. billy crystal looks like he'll be doing a super-secret monologue about the movie industry about two-thirds of the way through. so, it will be fun to watch.
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>> they always pull out some surprises and it's always fun to watch and get your own oscar pool going at home. dawn yanek, thank you so much. >> thank you. stay with us. you'll hear from a couple who was stranded for days after getting stuck in their car. look at this, stuck in a snow bank. to cookies just out of the oven. to the morning bowl of cereal. and to lactaid® milk. easy to digest and with all the calcium and vitamin d of regular milk. [ female announcer ] lactaid®. the original lactose-free milk.
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to make the water we drink, taste a little more, perfect. reduce lead and other impurities with the advanced filtration system of brita. hi, everybody. welcome back to "msnbc sunday." i'm thomas roberts. big news from libya this morning. a member of the benghazi city council in libya says the libyan cities under rebel control have pointed an ex-justice minister to lead a provisional government, but libyan leader moammar gadhafi is refusing to step down and he's cracking down hard on the centers in the capital of libya by arming pro-government supporters and setting up checkpoints. joining me now from washington, d.c., is msnbc military analyst and retired u.s. army general barry mccaffrey. sir, it's great to have you on this morning. the united nations security council has voted to slap sanctions on gadhafi, but what
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good are these sanctions? how long is it going to take them to really have an impact, or is this just showboating for the international community? >> no, i think it's more than showboating. this will have a profound impact on many of the internal audiences that gadhafi's got to keep under control. that includes the armed forces. we've seen significant defections from the armed forces to join the benghazi protesters as an example. and i think also the sanctions where it comes to direct actions against gadhafi and his four children and inner circle will signal to him, hey, gadhafi's going, you've got to climb aboard the new train. so, this is helpful in the long run. >> in terms of giving now gadhafi a target -- as we said, a member of the benghazi city council there in libya is saying that they have an ex-justice minister to lead a provisional government -- doesn't this give gadhafi a target to take out? >> i think it's an enormous step
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in the right direction. look, it's clear gadhafi can never get this back under his control. a good bit of the country, who knows, half of it, two-thirds of it is already gone. he clamped down on tripoli. i've never heard of using antiaircraft guns in direct fire and bombing protesters. so, i think the problem is many people are concerned. this is a tribal culture, the armed forces are fragmented. who could emerge in this society that's been dominated by gadhafi for 41 years, to run a new government? so, i think this is an encouraging outcome. >> as we talked about gadhafi, he does appear to be different from some of the other leaders, obviously, like in tunisia and egypt, who have left power. gadhafi, as you just said, using this force, determined to try to hold on to this power grip, that as you say, he's been 41 years in power. so, what's your sense of how long this can actually go on?
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>> well, i, unfortunately, don't see any clear ending, and neither do most informed observers of what's happening, until tripoli goes under, you know, well over a million people. a very small population in libya, giant land area. so, i think the end game is completely unclear. however, it is inevitable gadhafi gets murdered, his inner circle's ejected, and at some point, chaos ensues from which we can only hope does not emerge a government that's a threat to u.s. national interests in the region. >> why do you think the tipping point is happening now? >> well, it's hard for me to imagine, as an example, given defections in the armed forces, given the widespread defection of his diplomatic community in the international arena, given the number of people that he's murdered, which possibly could be in the hundreds, and thousands injured, it's hard to imagine he can ever put this
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thing back together. so, it's really how does the end game develop? how much more bloodshed is there? and how do you end up with this tribal culture, in some way holding together as an organized state? >> general mccaffrey, as we look at the geopolitical landscape as a whole, what other countries do you see as vulnerable to this kind of unrest, and how much of a concern should that be to the united states? >> well, i think the absolutely most important area for u.s. national interests starts in bahrain but extends to the gcc states and the stability of saudi arabia. you know, poor libya's only got essentially 1.8 million barrels of oil production. when it comes to saudi arabia and the gecc states, there you're talking the economics are viable of japan and the european countries in particular. this is a shia/sunni fault line, bahrain, two-thirds of the population are shia it used to
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be a province of persia. i cannot imagine the saudis will allow bahrain to go into the hands of what they will believe is a threat to their own survival. so, the area to watch is less libya, unfortunately, with this massive personal tragedy unfolding on the libyan people, but i'm more inclined to say what's going to happen in saudi arabia and bahrain. >> general barry mccaffrey, good to see you this morning. thanks for joining me. >> good to be with you. >> as the uprising continues in libya, protesters here in the u.s. are also holding demonstrations in support of the libyan people. groups gathered outside the white house, calling on moammar gadhafi to step down. and demonstrators also held rallies in chicago and boston. at the top of the hour right here on msnbc, we bring you a live report from libya. other headlines this morning. a hazmat crew is at the site of a freight train derailment on the banks of the puget sound in washington. 14 cars derailed, most were empty, but 4 contained a hazardous chemical.
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one of the cars leaked 10 to 20 gallons of the substance and crews are working to seal it. no one was injured. shuttle astronauts are sleeping in this morning after staying up late to finish the first job of their mission. the "discovery" crew docked with the international space station and then attached an equipment platform to it. astronauts go on their first space walk coming up tomorrow. and cardinal roger mahoney of los angeles is retiring today. mahoney has been the head of the nation's largest archdiocese for 25 years. he was once considered to be a long-shot possibility to succeed pope john paul. his reputation came under fire from his handling of the church's sex abuse scandal, which led to the largest civil settlement by the archdiocese, $660 million. in his retirement, mahoney plans to dedicate himself full time to the fight for immigration reform. and the protests against wisconsin's governor spread far beyond the statement's borders yesterday. hundreds of union supporters
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gathered in atlanta, georgia, in solidarity with wisconsin workers. protesters in wisconsin are angry at their state government for pushing legislation to cut benefits and reduce bargaining power for the state's unions. in philadelphia, protesters gathered at love park carrying signs supporting unions in wisconsin and in their own state. the crowd was also on hand -- hundreds, that is, on the steps of boston's state house. after spending almost a week trapped in a snowbound car, a couple from washington state is recovering safely at home today, thanks to the remarkable stroke of luck they both say saved their lives. five days ago, john and patricia norvell got stuck on a snowy, secluded road near mount st. helens. they had no phone and no one knew where they were. to survive, they melted snow into drinking water and ran the engine just a few minutes at a time to stay warm and also as a precautionary measure to save gas. then, something happened on the fifth day that john describes as nothing short of a miracle. >> in fact, i was getting out to
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go potty, and i see this young lady standing in front of a toyota truck, and she says, "do you need any help?" god, what do you mean? yes, yes! >> that young lady was with a group of campers who spotted the couple's jeep on friday. they used shovels and their trucks to dig the couple out of that ditch. federal agents and police in south florida arrested doctors and shut down a series of what are known as pill mills. pill mills are clinics where hundreds of thousands of prescription painkillers are illegally sold to anyone who has the cash to buy them. nbc's mark potter has more on the bust. >> reporter: officials say florida's many illicit pain clinics are easy fixes for addicts. >> they are a cash-only business. they don't take insurance. there's little, if no, physical exam. and there are armed guards at the door. >> reporter: prescription drug abuse in florida is now blamed for seven deaths per day. at a protest rally outside a
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pain clinic, ellen arnold said her daughter marcy is addicted to painkillers, has spent months in jail and is now in her sixth stint in rehab. >> there is a new face of addiction. it's not the poor, underprivileged person anymore, it's the middle class, all-american kid. >> reporter: in 2009, nearly 1,000 babies in florida were born addicted, suffering withdrawal symptoms. >> they had vomiting, they have stomach cramps, they sweat. >> reporter: to help combat the problem, the florida legislature two years ago passed a law establishing a computer database to monitor prescription drug sales and cut down on the practice of doctor shopping, going from clinic to clinic to buy lots of pills. >> this is the budget you asked for. >> reporter: but florida's new republican governor, rick scott, wants to cut the monitoring program, saying it's ineffective and expensive, which drew harsh criticism from police and other officials. >> like i said, we cannot arrest our way out of this problem.
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we need tools like the prescription drug monitoring program, like that database. >> reporter: in an era of difficult budget cuts, a battle over the cost of saving lives. mark potter, nbc news, lake worth, florida. more dead dolphins are turning up along the gulf coast. so, what is behind the mystery killing them? vo: it's time for a phone... to save us from our phones. new windows phone.
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an accident doesn't have to slow you down. introducing "better car replacement," available only with liberty mutual auto insurance -- if your car's totaled, we give you the money for a car one model year newer. to learn more, visit us today. responsibility. what's your policy? welcome back, everybody. scientists are working hard to get to the bottom of a new mystery in the gulf. at least 67 dead dolphins have washed ashore since january the 1st. the carcasses have been found from louisiana all the way to florida. five baby bottlenose dolphins were found dead on friday alone. we have a health reporter with "the washington post" joining us now. brian, you wrote in "the post" that americans now may be a little impatient, they expect more instant answers to mysteries like this because of how we've become conditioned to
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watching crime shows on tv. but when it comes to examining what's taking place here, the answer may not be so simple, right? >> yeah. you know, it's -- if you look at this as a crime scene investigation, you know, the researchers, the marine biologists, the veterinarians involved in trying to determine what's happened, you know, they're looking for clues right now. and those clues come from the bodies of the dead baby or stillborn dolphins themselves. so, the main challenge that they're facing right now is that most of the bodies that are washing up are badly decomposed and there are not many tissues that are available for samping and for testing. so, that's the big challenge right now. they're trying to get samples of fat to look for signs of oil, because obviously, the oil spill is the prime suspect here right now. >> yeah, i believe they're doing necropsy tests right now. but you bring up the oil. scientists think it has a major connection with the oil spill or may be connected to what was
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done post oil spill, which was the dispersant issue. >> right. so, the dispersant, if you remember back last summer when bp started to spray it, the epa actually told bp to stop spraying it, and bp kept spraying hundreds of thousands of gallons of it. and the effect of that dispersant on these kinds of dolphins and marine mammals is unknown. so you know, that's obviously another suspect in this case right now. and i think that, you know, the scientists involved, they're saying that it's going to take a few weeks it may take months to come up with an answer. they're also looking -- it's important to note, they're also looking for viruses that could be involved in this case. there was a case in 2007 where several -- a few dozen baby dolphins washed up in texas. and even though it was inconclusive at the time, the researchers involved there thought that it was possibly a virus. >> and brian, when do we know when we'll have any of these results? do we anticipate when we can have some more hard evidence? >> it's going to be a while.
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it's going to be a few weeks. like i said, it's very difficult right now to get tissues to send to the laboratories. >> right. >> so, it's going to be a matter of weeks, possibly even months before the researchers know what's happened. and you know, i should say that in past cases of mass die-offs of dolphins and whales, the investigators have only had about a 50% success rate in determining the cause of these kinds of mass die-offs, so, it's very challenging work. you know, not that much is known about dolphin biology, compared to human biology. and you know, it's going to be hard to connect the oil spill directly to these deaths. i mean, you may be able to find oil in the tissues of these animals, but that doesn't necessarily mean, you know, that you can say that the oil is what caused the mothers to spontaneously abort these fetal dolphins. >> we'll just have to be patient for the right answers. brian vastag, great to have you on today. thank you, sir. >> thanks. prince william and kate middleton are just about two months away from their big day. can you believe it?
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now, new reports today on who else might be on the royal wedding guest list. and some of the names are probably going to surprise you. nbc's keith miller is in london with more on this. so, keith, who are some of the lucky people that we don't know about? >> reporter: well, i know that i'm not on the list, and i don't think you are, either, thomas, but we do know that the local butcher, the pub manager and the owner of a convenience store in the small town of buckle berry, where kate middleton was raised, they are all on the list and are very excited about coming to the wedding and traveling all the way to london for the big day. the list, by the way, is still top secret. no names have been released by the palace. of course, those who are going to get an invitation now have them. we do know the numbers in general, about 1,900 people have been invited to the wedding. members of the royal family and crowns of state from around the world, but no presidents or prime ministers. president obama and his wife michelle were not on the list because this is not a state
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wedding. they will be making a state visit to england later in the year. but as for the list, we now know that william and kate have had a big influence on who will be attending their wedding and they have opted to invite locals from the local village. so, their plan, or at least their hope of making this a "people's wedding" appears to be working out rather well. michael? >> i think their style is going to catch on. i like this couple a lot and we'll continue to watch them grow and the wedding day coming up really soon. keith miller, thank you so much. gas prices continue to climb, but should we expect them to stay high? we're going to break down the answers for you after this quick break. stay with me. nice. a consumers digest best buy three years in a row. and an epa - estimated 33 miles per gallon highway. all starting under $23,000. and what does your neighbor have? a bad case of car envy. very well-qualified gm owners and lessees can get a low mileage lease on a malibu ls for around $179 a month.
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mixed signals this past week on the economy. the gdp, the number that shows economic growth, was revised downward, yet consumer confidence was up, hitting a three-year high this month. meantime, gas prices continue to climb. here to sort it out is cnbc
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contributor heatha provakar. >> you got it the first time. >> look at me, trying to jump over myself trying to say it correctly. let's talk about the economy and what's happening there. the closest look at the number here with the gdp, as i mentioned, the number that reflects the economy, revised down to 2.8%. and that's much lower than economists had predicted. what are we supposed to glean from this? >> it is much lower, but one thing we have to look at, too, is the consumer confidence numbers, the highest they've been since 2008, and consumer spending. clearly, the consumer is confident and willing to go out there and spend, and they're also really resilient. i think despite this revision of gdp, i think the consumer's feeling a little bit more optimistic about employment. the unemployment numbers are gradually coming down, and i think those are the numbers that we really have to look at. >> just to put it back up there for everybody, the consumer confidence numbers rising to
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77.5. this is what economists had expected, not to be so high, but they had expected it to go back up. the big concern, let's talk about oil and oil prices. here we are in february talking about this. normally, we would be doing a segment like this probably prior to summer season. >> exactly, in may. >> yeah. and here we have the price of oil passing $100 a barrel last week in the u.s. national average gas price now $3.35 a gallon. but as we focus a lot on libya and what's going on in the middle east and the unrest, can it all be attributed to that? >> not necessarily. i mean, yes, there is a lot of -- the price of oil does not like instability in the middle east, and we've obviously seen a reflection of that. and while there is an expectation that the barrels are going to go up to $112, i think that, you know, jeffrey lacker was on cnbc on friday talking about how this is really not going to affect the economy. he doesn't expect this to completely derail the growth that the economy has had, the
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u.s. economy has had. i think, again, going back to the consumer, they are resilient, and one thing that we have to think about, too, people are very worried about the price of gas affecting the way the consumer is shopping out in the stores. and a lot of those people are doing most of their shopping online now. >> right. >> so, i think that's really going to sort of mitigate the rise in gas prices. >> people need to find ways around it. there are other ways to skin a cat. >> exactly. where there's a will, there's a way. that's the mantra of the american consumer. >> hitha pradhvaka, thanks for coming on. >> thank you for having me. new information in the charlie sheen saga. a network interview. what's he got left to reveal now? and watch our exciting new lineup tomorrow here on msnbc. "the daily rundown" starting at 9:00 a.m., followed by "jansing & co" at 10:00. i'm on my new time slot at 11:00 a.m. and then contessa brewer at noon, followed by "andrea mitchell reports" at 1:00 p.m. and "news nation with tamron hall" at 2:00 p.m.
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and we welcome martin bashir's new show at 3:00 p.m. the smell of shaving cream. whatever scents fill your household, purina tidy cats scoop helps neutralize odors in multiple cat homes... giving you just what you need to keep your house smelling like it should. purina tidy cats scoop. keep your home smelling like home.
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MSNBC February 27, 2011 8:00am-9:00am EST

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